Technology has been introduced to nearly every aspect of our lives and the health and wellbeing sector is no different. In fact, there are some apps and gadgets that some people swear by to help track their fitness levels, while for some people it’s a total minefield.
So is there such a thing as THE best wellness technology on the market? Here are our 10 corporate wellness experts to give us their views on the must-haves when it comes to wellness technology.
From activity trackers and meditation apps to smart ways to administer prescriptions correctly, the great news is technology is making a real difference to millions of people’s lives. However, there is a lot of it out there which can make choosing the right solution daunting. A good place to start is a ready-made platform which brings together a range of technological solutions to provide a single holistic and engaging approach to mental and physical wellbeing. Not only is this approach easier and more cost effective to implement it’s more likely to appeal a broader cross-section of your people.
Sam Fromson, Co-founder of Yulife.
With so much health data being captured by individuals, the best technology analyses your health and wellbeing data from multiple inputs, makes predictions about your future health and proactively plans a course of preventative measures designed to keep you at your best. The best technology should also enable a personalised experience, meeting employees where they are on their wellbeing journey, by integrating and analysing employee data from multiple sources, including eligibility files, health assessments, biometrics, interests, platform usage, and more — all while maintaining the highest data privacy, security and compliance standards
Jill King, Director of International Markets at VirginPulse.
It depends on the individual. Each person has different needs and goals, and as such, the technology best suited to facilitate their wellbeing will be different. Also, the rise of application specific technologies, namely mobile apps, makes it hard for one solution to be the “best”. For example, some users track their activity with a device, their nutrition with an app, and practice mediation with another app. All three technologies are important to their overall wellbeing. Fortunately, there is a wide array of consumer technologies they can choose from so there is always something for everyone.
Nick Patel, CEO of Wellable.
The best wellness technology lies not in the tech itself, but how we use the data it produces. For instance, Unum UK recently did a deep-dive into how customers are using its Employee Assistance Programme offered through LifeWorks. Results showed of those who used EAPs for mental health support, 92 percent felt their condition had improved after using the service, highlighting the effectiveness of EAPs. Knowing its value, employers could take this data and dial-up awareness of its availability, benefits and uses. Technology is ineffective if we don’t mine the data and take the findings to make improvements to fully optimise our wellbeing programmes.
Liz Walker, HR Director, Unum UK.
Advancements in fitness and wellness technology have come so far, there are almost too many awesome new apps and devices to list! When you partner with Fitspot to bring wellness to the workplace, for example, you can access to our state-of-the-art wellness portal. There, you can RSVP for classes, see the schedule, track stats and much more. Plus, when you sign up for a premium portal, you also get access to our innovative wellness partners, whose proprietary technology enables people to take their health into their own hands, 24/7. We’ve partnered with brands that deliver unique and powerful virtual services, directly to your employees. Partners include Whil, which offers virtual mindfulness training; Sworkit, which gives you access to an extensive library of workout videos and plans; and Zipongo, which makes it easy to plan healthy meals, personalized to your diet preferences and health goals. That’s just to name a few!
Sammy Courtright, founder and CEO of Fitspot Wellness.
Other than of course saying RG’s technology, the best tech out there is not going to solve your employee wellbeing goals. Whatever you choose to use will only work if you can create an engaged workforce and this needs to be your first step. By creating an engaged workforce you will find it far easier to gain participation and registration into any initiative you launch for wellbeing. But one thing is key; you need to make sure that whatever you choose is holistic, covering all aspects of wellbeing both mental, physical and financial – it has to appeal to all levels and abilities and all of your workforce. Remember, every one of your employees has different wellbeing needs at different times of their journey with you and it’s crucial that you can appeal to all, all of the time!
Lucy Tallick, Head of Wellbeing at Reward Gateway.
Innovation is strong in the corporate wellness market. Big data and AI are transforming the health assessment model, calculating personal risk and helping to develop personalised health care plans. Mobile and tablet apps are also becoming really important, allowing employers to have a whole workforce view of the health of their employees and empower employees to take control of their own wellbeing using a range of tools and reward systems. Virtual GP and CBT services are also very valuable, minimising time away from the office and allowing remote access 24/7.
Alaana Linney, Director of Business Development at Nuffield Health.
It’s all about individualisation. Health is such a personal thing and it’s important that companies allow for this. My top tip is to use technology as an enabler and use it to enhance something you know you already enjoy, which is health related and compliments and encourages healthy behaviour. If a person enjoys exercising at the gym – try adding an on demand virtual training session, such as Les Mills On Demand for the times you can’t get there on time or are travelling with work. If mindfulness and time out to reflect and decompress one’s thoughts is important there are a number of great apps for this such as Headspace and Calm. The clear takeaway is that wellness and health must be personal.
Joe Gaunt, CEO of Hero Wellbeing.
The best technology is one that is available at the right time and right place. For example, if you offer your employees an Employee Assistance Programme that’s only available from 9am to 5pm on weekdays, no matter how good the technology is, if you need it on a Sunday, it won’t solve your issue. Push Doctor is a good example of technology in this field. The platform is there when you need it and available wherever you want to access it via a laptop, phone, or tablet.
Shaun Bradley, Director of People at Perkbox.
There are so many different apps and wearable technology gadgets nowadays, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed by them all. At Elevate, we love recommending the CALM app for daily and sleep meditations. We also love Fitbit and Myfitnesspal tracker for encouraging physical activity and weight management, and DrinkLess for recording your weekly alcohol intake. Nutrifix is also a great new nutrition app to help make decision-making easier when it comes to eating out.
Ruth Tongue, Co-founder of Elevate.